Burly Calling VIII Q&A: Say Yes


Leading up to Burlington, Ontario’s Burly Calling VIII independent music festival, Riffyou.com will be catching up with some of this year’s participants to discuss why you should be in their crowd, thoughts on the festival, as well as the ideal place to go when drunk or hungover after a show.

Today, here’s our Q&A with Adam Michael of Say Yes. Catch his band play Friday, December 5 at The Queenshead (12:10am). Click here to view the full festival schedule.

RY: Apart from your Burly Calling showcase, what else is your band up to?

Adam: “Well, we just released our first EP in August, so we’ve been writing like crazy and looking forward to a full length. Been Dustin Rabin Photography, Say Yes, Alexisonfire, Saint Alvia Cartel,  Dustin Rabinplaying a lot, and have a bunch of Ontario dates surrounding Burly Calling in November and December.”

RY: For those attending Burly Calling, tell them why they should come and see your band. State your case!

Adam: “Sex, drugs and rock n’ roll, son.”

RY: If this is your first Burly Calling show, what do you hope happens? (If it’s not, what do you remember about your first Burly Calling gig?)

Adam: “We actually played last year’s Burly Calling at The Queenshead with our good pal Terra Lightfoot. I remember playing an impromptu version of “Just What I Needed” with them and drinking a million beers. It’s fun playing these smaller pub gigs that end up being packed. Then, being confused with how you have met so many people in your life because you realize you know three-quarters of the people at the show! Great crowds.”

RY: Who do you want to see at Burly Calling this year, and why?

Adam: “Mostly just excited to see all our pals: Chuck Coles, Rules, The Dinner Belles, Dead Tired, Skittlebrau, Grade. I could list them forever. It’s so lucky to have such a great group of friends that are so fucking talented.”

RY: How much sleep do you anticipate having during Burly Calling weekend?

Adam: “Last year, I got a room for one of the nights at a hotel and never quite got there, so we’ll see.”

RY: What is the best venue you’ve played (Burlington or otherwise) and why?

Adam: “We’ve played some great venues this year. Riot Fest Toronto was amazing. Another favourite was The KEE to Bala. But as far as nostalgic Burlington venues, Jordan and I have been playing them for some time together. The Polish Hall, any church that would rent their space, the Music Centre. That’s why Burly calling is so great – there doesn’t seem to be any place that I’m aware of in Burlington to showcase original music anymore.”

RY: If drunk and/or hungover after a gig, where is your go-to spot?

Adam “I wish Jonathan’s was still open on Fairview St. in Burlington. They served brown beans with breakfast. But, then a bunch of people got E Coli after eating there and it was all downhill after that.”

RY: Of course, there are many independent music festivals out there. What do you think separates Burly Calling from the rest?

Adam: “At the risk of using the term ‘DYI,’ this festival truly is. Like the bands playing, the ones who started and run the whole thing are some of my best pals. Saint Alvia – who I played with for a fairly short, but very lasting and inspirational time – put Burly Calling 1 on to raise money for all the shitty voodoo luck they had in the span of their career. Multiple vans stolen, jam spaces ransacked…you get the idea. And to see how it progressed each year is mind blowing. Burlington always played a large part in Canadian music, so why the hell shouldn’t we showcase our city and neighbouring cities’ talent? I joke often that (festival co-founder) Ben Rispin is the king of Burlington, but there is a lot of truth to it. And Brad Hails and all the company that have joined the crew over the years do just as good of a job as he does.”

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